Circulation Journal
Online ISSN : 1347-4820
Print ISSN : 1346-9843
ISSN-L : 1346-9843
Vascular Biology and Vascular Medicine
Activation of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Mediates Indoxyl Sulfate-Induced Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 Expression in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells
Ippei WatanabeJunko TatebeShunji NambaMasayuki KoizumiJunichi YamazakiToshisuke Morita
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2013 Volume 77 Issue 1 Pages 224-230


Background: Indoxyl sulfate (IS) is a uremic toxin that causes renal injury, but little is known about its adverse effects on the cardiovascular system. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated transcriptional factor that mediates adaptive and toxic responses in cells. Recent studies identified IS as an endogenous agonist for AhR, as well as other tryptophan metabolites. The aim of the study was to investigate whether IS activates AhR, with subsequent inflammatory responses contributing to the development of atherogenesis, in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Methods and Results: We demonstrated that IS stimulates the expression of AhR target genes, including cytochromes P450 1A1 and 1B1 mRNA, in a time-dependent manner, as well as translocation of AhR into the nucleus from the cytoplasm, indicating AhR activation. IS-stimulated AhR activation was accompanied by an increase in oxidative stress, proven by enhanced NADPH oxidase 4 expression and dihydroethidium staining. Additionally, AhR inhibitors abolished the IS-induced increase in monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) expression in a dose-dependent manner. Taken together, these results suggest that IS activates AhR as an endogenous agonist and induces MCP-1 expression through reactive oxygen species production in HUVECs. Conclusions: Our findings give a novel understanding of the physiological effect of IS on the cardiovascular system and indicate possibilities for preventing cardiorenal syndrome by regulating serum IS levels.  (Circ J 2013; 77: 224–230)

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